Wednesday 10th February – Ash Wednesday
Reflection: Joel 2: 12-18
TOWARDS A DEEPER UNION WITH GOD
As today marks the beginning of the Lenten season, the church specially calls on us to deepen our relationship with our loving Father. This, however, cannot be realised without a sincere acknowledgement and renunciation of our sinful ways coupled with a corresponding willingness to draw closer to God. We are all inadequate and in need of God’s mercy. Today’s first reading goes to encourage us on the superabundance of God’s mercy – “…he is all tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in graciousness” (Joel 2: 13).
The symbolic distribution of ashes on our forehead is meant to call us to contrition (Job 42:6) and as well remind us that our existence here on earth is transient – “ You are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19). Beloved in Christ, without periodic introspection we can easily loose sight of the purpose of life and carelessly drift away from God – the source of all goodness.
In other to realise the full benefits of this season; we must consciously go through it with a renewed quest for God and be prepared to be better transformed by Him. The Church in her wisdom has put forward important disciplines we are called to better embrace during this season; namely:
- Fasting and abstinence
- Alms giving
Today’s Gospel clearly admonishes us on the proper way to go about this. As we commit ourselves to these disciplines of lent, we can trust in the abundant grace of God to lead us deeper in union with Him.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, I desire a deeper union with You. Please help me that this season of lent may lead me to be better transformed by you.
KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 1431- Interior repentance is a radical reorientation of our whole life, a return, a conversion to God with all our heart, an end of sin, a turning away from evil, repugnance towards the evil actions we have committed. At the same time it entails the desire and resolution to change one’s life, with hope in God’s mercy and trust in the help of his grace.
HIDE A TREASURE: “Draw near to god and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you men of double mind.” James 4: 8 RSV-CE
Today’s Readings: Joel 2:12-18; Psalm 51: 3-6, 12-14, 17; 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18